bundling CAT A6 cables

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 Question by efm posted 20 Apr 2005
 bundling CAT A6 cables
I will be building a CAT A6 Horizontal cable (bundle of 12, 24 and 48), may I ask your expertise how to do these assemblies smoothly and quickly. Only one end has connector, other end is open. Length required is 30m and 45m. Would appreciate as well if you can give me tips in the assembling of bundle cables, specifically CAT A6. May I know also your recommended cable ties to be used.

Thanks in advance.
 Answer by Joseph Golan posted 20 Apr 2005
Dear efm,

Sounds like your are installing equipment cable assemblies to plug directly into a switch and then the open end will terminate on patch panels or wiring blocks. Also you are reffering to CAT A6, which I am going to guess is an augmented category 6 cable. Please be aware that there is not a standard yet for augmented category 6, this is a manufacturers' claim. Also you will not be able to test for any augmented category 6 properties as the test equipment manufacturers do not have any standrds yet to build it to.

First, to keep the integrity of category 6 performance it is NOT recommended for you to install the plug end yourself as this is a difficult process and requires special category 6 plugs and tooling. Later when the cable does not test or perform properly, you will become even more fustrated.

Most of the major manufacturers (Siemon, Systimax, etc.) have pre-terminated equipment cables (solid conductor with an 8 pin modular plug) available in various lengths so you can order the quantities required in your needed lengths (30 & 45M). Contact your manufacturer of choice to see what they have available in the cable type you are interested in. You should also specify if you desire T568A or T568B wiring when placing the order.

Once you have the assemblies, label each end of the cables with a numbered label and preshape them in groups of 12, with the plugs staggered to match the jacks on the switch card. The cables should not be perfectly parrallel as that will contribute to alien crosstalk problems, so keep them loose-laid. Keep the bundles in shape with velco ty-raps, about every 18 inches (.5M). I would not use standard ty-raps as they will deform the jacket if too tight which will disturb the lay of the pairs and add to crosstalk and return loss failures.

I am also forwarding an article on the progress with augmented category 6 from Fluke Networks

Joseph Golan, RCDD

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